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Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
Vodacom Blue Bulls 10 8 39
DHL Western Province 10 7 35
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Super Rugby 2015: Round 16

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 28 May 2015 at 10:07
Tagged with : ,

We’re so nearly at the end of the round-robin phase of Super Rugby, with only three rounds still to be played.

Sharks v Rebels (Friday 19h10)

With a bye in the second-last week, this is in fact one of only two remaining games for the Sharks, whose disappointing season is now about nothing more than salvaging a little pride. Having made great strides towards finding some sort of attacking mojo on tour, with a new halfback combination seeming to help in that regard, fans will be hoping for a bit of flair at Kings Park on Friday night.

The Sharks have never lost to the Rebels (although there have been some close games indeed in Melbourne) but will be foolish to take this challenge lightly, given the good performance put in by these visitors at Newlands last week. Adding to the uncertainty is yet another swathe of injury cutting through the Sharks camp; Frans Steyn in midfield has been hugely influential during the mini-recovery of late and his absence will be felt. Likewise, the rested Marcell Coetzee brings a work rate and dynamism at open-side flank that Renaldo Bothma will be hard-pressed to match.

All that aside, you’d fancy the Sharks, who seem to have bounced off the bottom and are on the way back up, to have too much firepower, provided the effects of tour fatigue don’t trip them up. I’m expecting an 8-point Sharks win.

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts/Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Renaldo Bothma, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis , 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Etienne Oosthuizen/Khaya Majola, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Heimar Williams.

Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Sefanaia Naivalu, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Jordy Reid, 23 Bryce Hegarty.

In other games:
Crusaders will surprise the Hurricanes, winning by 5.
The Brumbies will trounce the Bulls by 12.
The Chiefs will pip the Highlanders by 6.
The Force will beat the Reds by 3.
The Stormers will beat the Cheetahs by 9.
The Waratahs will beat the Lions by 5.


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